Email is one of the most profitable marketing channels, but it’s not always easy to create effective email campaigns. Like with any other channel, each piece of content needs to be goal-oriented and tied in to your larger campaign strategies.
If you’re wondering how to write a professional email that promotes engagement and drives sales, remember that refining your practices is an ongoing process. Keep these tips in mind to start moving in the right direction and improving your email marketing metrics.
Create a Lead Magnet
Internet users are asked to join countless email newsletters every week, so it’s important for brands to differentiate themselves from the competition. Offering an incentive to users who subscribe to your content will increase sign-up rates and increase customer engagement.
Whether it’s a small amount of store credit, an exclusive discount, or something more unique, just displaying a lead magnet on your sign-up page will make users want to learn more. Regardless of your conversion rate, you’ll see an increase in sales anytime you grow your email list.
Tie Emails to Tangible Goals
Rather than starting an email and then deciding on a goal, identify your top marketing objectives and then craft emails specifically to reach those targets. If you’re trying to promote traffic on your website, for example, design the email to maximize click-throughs and use that metric to judge its success.
Limit each email to a single goal whenever possible and reinforce it through a repeated call to action. It’s better to have individual messages for each marketing goal—you’ll be able to track your successes and failures and provide much more directed content for your readers.
Focus on Open Rates
Open rate is one of the most important metrics in email marketing—customers can’t convert if they don’t even look at the message. If you’re having trouble increasing your open rates, try changing your subject lines and display name to catch your audience’s attention.
Subject lines should be short enough to read on a mobile device and reference the value in the email’s body. Use an urgent tone to make them want to learn more, and include the reader’s name for even more personalization.
Rather than using the name of your business, you can also set your emails to be “from” your first name. Readers are much more likely to open an email that comes from an individual rather than a company.
Remember that most email clients display the subject line along with the first few words of the email’s body. In addition to the subject line and sender name, the first sentence or two should be one of your main focuses in any email.
Be More Conversational
The body of an email is the perfect opportunity to add a more intimate tone and move each reader toward a sale. This can be a slow process—users will be turned off by overly pushy or generic language.
Connect your brand to common customer pain points and let them know what your services can do for them. Use this section of the email to warm up each lead and prepare them for a call to action near the end of the message.
Provide a Steady Stream of Content
Your readers subscribed to your newsletter because they’re interested in your content. Sending regular emails keeps customers engaged and gives you more chances to make sales.
On the other hand, sending too many messages will lead them to ignore your emails or even unsubscribe from the newsletter. It’s important to strike the right balance in order to maximize sales without decreasing open rates or increasing unsubscribes.
The best way to match your audience’s expectations is simply to ask them how often they’d like to hear from you. Give them the option to change their preferences at any time if they want to receive more or less of your content.
Stick to Your Brand
Just as sending emails too often will lead to higher unsubscription rates, providing irrelevant or uninteresting content will also turn readers off. Every email needs to be directly related to your brand’s image in order to truly connect with your readers.
You can use the same strategy for timing to optimize your content and make sure your readers only receive the messages they want to read. Let them opt in and out of specific types of content and use that data to set up each email to go to the right users.
Creating relevant and engaging content takes more work than sending the same generic messages, but you’ll notice the difference in your brand’s email marketing metrics. Think of effective email marketing as an investment—the more you put in, the more you’ll get back.
Include Visual Content
You probably put more thought into the text of your email than the images, but the truth is that most of your subscribers won’t read the entire message. With that in mind, it’s important to provide content that’s easy for readers to scan quickly and includes lots of visual content to break up the text.
With images, graphics, videos, and more, your subscribers will be able to understand the point of your email even if they don’t take the time to read every word. Use frequent subheadings and avoid long paragraphs—remember that many users are reading your messages on a smartphone or tablet.
Use Automation Workflows
It’s impossible to run an effective email campaign at scale without automation software, and businesses that still try to manage email marketing on their own are falling behind the competition.
Automation workflows enable you to work smarter rather than harder and set up certain emails to send in response to certain triggers. These are a few of the most effective workflows for email marketers:
A welcome sequence is the perfect way to tell new readers about your brand and start the customer journey on a positive note. Some businesses offer exclusive discounts to new users in order to increase open rates and conversions on the initial message.
You only have one chance to make a first impression, so it’s important to nail your first few emails and showcase what makes your business unique. Check out these welcome email examples for more ideas on developing an effective welcome sequence.
Cart abandonment emails are one of the most popular and efficient ways for email marketers to generate revenue. This workflow targets users who visited your web store and added something to their cart but left before making the purchase.
Customers with abandoned carts are some of your most valuable leads, and sending cart abandonment reminders will bring a surprising number of them back to finish buying your product. Don’t hesitate to add this workflow to your email marketing toolkit.
Start the cart abandonment sequence with a short email just an hour or two after they leave your site. Include an image and link to the item they were interested in.
You can follow up in a second message the next day to bring the product back to their mind and ask them to reconsider. Add links to similar items they might be interested in. A few days later, send a third email offering an exclusive discount as a final attempt to convert the lead.
A/B test different subject lines, intervals, offers, and other elements of your cart abandonment emails to identify your most effective strategies and stay up to date on any developing trends. Most online carts are abandoned before the customer makes the purchase, so you’ll use abandoned cart reminders more often than nearly any other workflow.
It can be difficult to determine how to write a professional email for your subscribers, but you can get closer to your marketing goals with these simple tips. Remember to analyze your results and make continual adjustments—the best marketers are always improving on their existing strategies.
***This is a guest post from Kate Lynch. Kate is a business and digital marketing blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers, keeping a keen eye on the latest trends and news in those industries. Follow her on Twitter @IamKateLynch for more updates.***